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Scratch series event resurrected for one time in Ishpeming

October 23, 2012
By STEVE BROWNLEE - Journal Sports Writer ( , The Mining Journal

An event near and dear to my heart will be brought back to life one special time in less than three weeks.

The Country Lanes Match Play Championship will be held all afternoon and into the evening of Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Ishpeming center.

This is a scratch - no handicap - singles tournament reminiscent of the former Upper Peninsula Match Play tourney series that I last helped run nearly a decade ago.

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That series held events about once a month at bowling centers in the central U.P. and Copper Country, including in Marquette, Ishpeming, Gwinn, Munising, Baraga, Ripley, Escanaba, Iron Mountain and Menominee.

A few other cities were also included before I had any involvement with the series that I believe dates back to either the 1980s or even late 1970s.

It allowed some of the area's elite bowlers to compete on a one-on-one basis without really huge entry fees or ridiculously long drives to places like southern Lower Michigan or southern Wisconsin.

Our last director, Pat Sertich, and his wife, Adriana, continued to run the series even after Pat got married and moved to Sheboygan, Wis. But after a few years and starting a family, it made it tough to continue.

But now it's back, at least for one special time.

The tourney, which by the way organizers are seeking business sponsors for, is open to men and women and will have four-game qualifying shifts at 1 and 4 p.m., with match play to determine a champion.

There will also be bracket and sidepot jackpots available during qualifying.

I didn't hear if they'll employ a TV-style, stepladder finals or go strictly with match play to whittle the field down to a champion, but either way, it'll be one-game knockouts with all the pressure that brings for prize money that includes $800 for first place if they get 50 entries.

And I know the center will be open for friends and family of the bowlers and just casual bowling fans to come out and watch. I hear there will probably be at least a few top-notch bowlers from places like Green Bay, Wis., that are expected, so it could be an interesting way to see guys you might consider semi-pros, though they'll be in an environment they're not at all familiar with.

Something the tournament is going to feature is allowing re-entries of bowlers from the 1 p.m. shift into the 4 p.m. shift as long as space allows (there's room for 48 bowlers per shift).

It's something that been used in a popular early-spring tourney at the Center Bowl in Peshtigo, Wis., that draws a number of our area's elite. The entry fee is $70, with the rebuys costing $50. For more information, call Clay Sandberg at Country Lanes at 486-8000.

Now on to The Mining Journal Bowlers of the Week.

In an extremely close race for the men, the Northern Michigan University class on Thursdays at Superior Lanes came out on top once again. Joseph Chenail was 119 pins over his 81 averages with 362 on games of 107, 115 and 140.

He beat out five other guys all within 10 pins of his feat, led by Neil Paavola in the Monday Northern Electric Automotive Industrial League at Country Lanes at plus-118 over his 171 mean. He hit 631 with three 200 games, the high 220.

Two more Monday NEA bowlers followed with Mike Gustafson 117 over his 154 average with 579 and a 224 high, and Larry Bluse 114 over his 165 mean with 609 and a 230 high.

And another two in the Friday 800 Mixed at Superior - Mick Seitz at plus-112 from his 178 average with 646 and a 234 high, and Matthew Daugherty at 110 over his 187 average with 671 and a 239 high.

For the ladies, Hope Virch incredibly won this title for the third week in a row from the Wednesday Industrial League at Superior. After a rough start to her season, she broke 600 for the third straight week, shooting 655 to exceed her 179 average by 118 pins on games of 211, 233 and 211.

Meagan Castro-Lopez was next in the - get this - Thursday NMU class at 92 over her 154 average with 554 with a 225 high.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246.



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